Climate & Energy

Energy bill back on track?

Pelosi says bill up for vote next week will contain CAFE, RFS, and RES

For days I’ve been hearing that some kind of deal is imminent on the energy bill. There was talk that the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) was going to get dropped, perhaps to be attached to some other bill, and that the production tax credit (PTC) for wind and solar was going overboard, along with rescinding subsidies to oil and gas companies. That would have left a pretty sad bill, notable mainly for a boost in CAFE and enormous subsidies to ethanol. Anyway, some qualified good news. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has a brief statement on her site alluding a …

CCS: Always almost ready, but never quite

Over at Earth2Tech, reflecting on Washington’s recent rejection of a coal plant application, Alexix Madrigal stumbles across the essence of the carbon capture and sequestration issue: It highlights an interesting aspect of the CCS debate. Fossil-fuel energy companies are well-served by having the technology remain on the drawing board, devoid of any "industrial-scale" field deployments. It lets them point to technology that will eventually make them clean — forestalling complaints that coal should be done away with completely — while allowing the companies to claim they can’t build something that hasn’t already been built. Yup.

What’s up with the climate conference in Bali?

Have you been hearing chatter at cocktail parties and on witty webzines about a big climate-change bash in Bali? Wondering what the deal is? We’re so glad you asked. The action in Bali isn’t on the beach. Photo: iStockphoto The rumors are true: From Dec. 3 to Dec. 14, more than 15,000 people from 190 nations will gather in Bali, Indonesia: politicians, bureaucrats, nosy reporters, earnest activists — the usual party-hearty crowd. They’ll give due respect to the “global” in global warming, and discuss what to do about it — in particular, what should be done after the Kyoto Protocol …

Businesses urge policy for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions

More than 150 international companies have signed on to a petition begging diplomats meeting in Bali next week to come up with policy aimed at cutting global greenhouse-gas emissions at least in half by 2050. The companies — Shell, Coca-Cola, Dupont, British Airways, Rolls Royce, and many, many, more — “urge world leaders to seize this opportunity” with “strong, early action on climate change.” The petition also stated that a push to reduce emissions would “create significant business opportunities” and a legally binding agreement “will provide business with the certainty it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies.” …

Rep. Markey on the energy bill

Climate media challenges

New briefing finds improvement but new challenges for climate reporting

A short new briefing (PDF) from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) says that media coverage of climate change has improved, but still shows several flaws: • There are many criticisms of how the media has covered climate change to date, but many signs of improvement too. For journalists new to the topic, climate change is complex, making training a priority for media outlets. • The false balance that has been a problem for years appears to be declining but a catastrophe narrative that disempowers people remains. Those supplying the media with information — scientists, politicians and NGOs …

Coal's desperate campaign for survival

A multi-million dollar ad campaign tries to convince Americans that coal still rules

Today’s Progress Report from CAP has a great rundown on the clean coal industry and the presidential debates. I’ve put the whole thing under the fold. Read it and weep: Viewers tuning into Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube Republican debate probably saw commercials for "clean coal." They may have also seen an ad for the debate in that morning’s Washington Post, with a note at the bottom reading: "Sponsored by Clean Coal, America’s Power." These initiatives were funded by the group "Americans For Balanced Energy Choices" (ABEC), which receives its financing from coal companies and "their allies in the utility and railroad sectors." …

Laissez unfair

In his typically succinct way, Atrios captures something essential about energy policy, modern-day conservatism, and Rudy Giuliani: Jim Cramer is interviewing Rudy. I don’t have the sound on, but the captions are funny. First one. “Giuliani: The US Should Increase Its Coal Supply Through Government Subsidies” About 4 minutes later: “Giuliani: Business And Government Are Separate – And That’s Non-Negotiable

Response to Jeremy Carl, part three

The question for China and India is not whether to make the transition away from coal, but how soon

In part one I made the point that if China and India develop along the same path as the West, we’re all doomed. This fact is becoming increasingly clear to everyone. One way or another, whoever foots the bill, they’ll have to change, and that means shifting to a more expensive-in-the-short-term source of electricity, of which clean coal is but one example among many. In part two I acknowledged that there are powerful arguments — mainly social and political rather than economic or technological — that clean coal is the most obvious short-term choice (and thus that we should focus …

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